A MAN in in hospital after being attacked with a baseball bat in the early hours of this morning.

Northumbria Police said officers were called to a disturbance in Portsmeads Rise, Birtley, Gateshead, at 1.55am.

A 35-year-old man had been assaulted with a baseball bat, and was taken to hospital for treatment. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

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Two women suffered minor injuries during the incident.

Those responsible for the attack escaped the scene in a white van.

Police said the main offender is male, and is described as tall with dark hair and was wearing a blue tracksuit top.

A man and a woman were also with him - the man is described as white, 5ft 5ins tall, of a stocky build, in his late 20s, with dark hair that was short at the back and sides. He was wearing dark clothing.

The woman is described as white, having shoulder length dark hair, 5ft 7ins tall and was wearing a black jacket and dark trousers.

Extra officers are carrying out patrols in the area, and are appealing for any witnesses, or anyone who knows those responsible, to come forward.

Superintendent Mick Paterson said: "Incidents such as this can quite rightly so cause concern amongst our communities and I'd like to reassure people extra officers will be carrying out patrols in the area.

"We believe those involved are known to each other and enquiries are being carried out to apprehend the offenders."

Anyone with any information can contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 167 190714 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.